AMHERST, MA — The Williams College softball team saw its impressive 17-game win streak come to an end Sunday when rival Amherst scored a walk-off, 4-3, nine-inning victory.
The moved the Ephs record to 24-10 overall and 7-1 in the NESCAC west Division. Amherst moved to 24-8 overall, 10-2 in the divisional standings. The Ephs are off until Friday when they travel to Middlebury for the first game of a three-game series beginning at 5 p.m.
Sunday's game was ccoreless after two innings, the Mammoths got on the scoreboard first with a solo home run from first-year Kate Kopatic. Holding onto a 1-0 advantage, Amherst scored again in the bottom of the fourth when Lauren Tuiskula ripped a two-out double to center field and scored on a Sammy Salustri single to right.
The Ephs cut the deficit in half when Brenna Martinez cracked a leadoff homer, and then knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the sixth. Lexi Curt drew a walk to lead off the stanza before stealing second and advancing to third on a groundout. Margo Beck walked to put runners on the corners and nearly got doubled off on a line out to the shortstop, but the throw ricocheted off Beck's helmet, allowing Curt to tie the contest.
Williams plated the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh. Rebecca Duncan had a pinch-hit triple to center and came home on a wild pitch for a 3-2 Eph lead. Amherst was able to send the game into extra innings on back-to-back doubles from Kopatic and Julia Turner in the bottom half of the frame.
With neither team scoring in the eighth, Williams singled with one out in the top of the ninth, but Kopatic caught Duncan stealing to clear the bases before Lorena Ukanwa retired the final Ephs batter on a strikeout.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Turner drew a walk and stole second to get into scoring position. Andrea Sanders used a walk-off double to capture the 4-3 victory for the Mammoths.
Gina Pagan started in the circle for Amherst pitching 5.1 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four. Ukanwa improved her record to 6-2 hurling the final 3.2 innings of relief fanning seven batters.
Duncan took the loss for the Ephs, going 2 1/3 and allowing two hits and one walk while striking out two. Mackenzie Murphy also hurled 2 1/3 innings for the Ephs, allowing three hits and one walk while fanning three. Brooke Bovier got the start, going the first four frames and giving up six hits and two runs while walking one and fanning three.
Williams had six hits. Duncan went 2 for 2 while Alejandra Magana was 2 for 4.